I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
What Would You Have Done With This Information....?
On March 25th 2015, a week after Governor Rick Scott came to Pensacola and was allowed to present a huge taxpayer funded bonus check to Newpoint Schools for Academic Excellence--I heard from a whistle-blower that had an incredible story to tell of grade falsification, cheating on tests, student safety issues, and other various financial problems at Newpointof which I was unaware. Shockingly--these issues had been going on for more than a year. More shocking--an inside employee of Newpoint had tried in vain for a year or more to get somebody, anybody, in the school district to step in and investigate these issues! The Escambia County School Board had specific rights, responsibilities, and obligations under the contract with Newpoint--yet because we as a board were purposely kept in the dark--the board's rights were foreclosed upon by proxy; we could not exercise these provisions because we were not made aware of the problems. This led to more than a year of issues languishing at this school with no formal investigation by the school district's investigator--and during that time student safety was jeopardized and cheating on tests and grade falsification was occurring.
I was a school board member that had heard nothing but great things for a full year prior to this regarding Newpoint during the board's quarterly charter school workshops. Typically if a charter had issues-board members were told immediately and such schools, if they were struggling, were quickly brought before the board (Ruby J. Gainer School, Life Skills Center, A.A. Dixon Charter School of Excellence) and the whole story would typically be worked out immediately and very publicly. Charter schools in this district are held on an extremely short leash. This was different, though.
The allegations I received in a text message back and forth with this whistle-blower early on blew me away. So to anybody who would ask "Why go to the state attorney?" I would say this--if you got a text message download--------- like the one I got here --------- What would you have done with this information?
**** I encourage anyone and everyone that is skeptical about this file I've linked here to verify the truth of this document. This can be done by calling the School Board attorney's office 850-469-6362 or 850-469-6275 and asking for my redacted records regarding Newpoint schools. Because I am no longer a school board member, because I am no longer affiliated in any way with the Escambia County School District--the District is now the custodian of my records from my time there.... The records are readily available--and the board's attorney should immediately turn all of these over to you or anyone who askes because this investigation is not being conducted by them (school district) and the voluminous documents, emails, photographs, etc. I gave them are a public record. Request the documents electronically because they are in a .pdf file that can easily be sent via electronic mail. There should not be a charge for this.